Chase Nabs Old Salvation Army Site, Hottest Retail Spot on Bedford

Rendering by Fradkin & McAlpin Architects


Following years of speculation, Chase will be the tenant in the next chapter of one of Brooklyn’s biggest retail hotspots, the former site of the Salvation Army on the corner of North 7th Street and Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg.

The bank will open at 180 Bedford Avenue sometime in the third quarter, according to spokesperson for developer Thor Equities.

brooklyn development 178 bedford avenue williamsburg

The site under construction in January. Photo by Cate Corcoran

For decades, the ‘Burg was largely a bank desert, despite holdovers in what was once a banking district on the south side of the neighborhood in the 19th century. That has been less true in recent years with the addition of Citibank and others on the north side.

A bank may be better positioned than other retailers to weather the coming 15-month shutdown of the L train, drawing business from local residents and merchants as well as visitors.

Rendering by

Rendering by Fradkin & McAlpin Architects

The bank also fits into the controversial trend of gentrified areas filling with banks, medical facilities, and chain stores.

At one time, it was rumored an Apple store would be moving into the old Salvation Army space. Apple did eventually open an outpost further down the street, its first in Brooklyn.

The Salvation Army store being demolished in 2013. Photo by Cate Corcoran

The Salvation Army store being demolished in 2013. Photo by Cate Corcoran

Rising property values have led the Salvation Army to close stores throughout the borough. Its Clinton Hill store at 22 Quincy Street, designed by noted 19th-century architect Francis Kimball, is still open but is also for sale.

The retail mix in Williamsburg has changed significantly since Apple signed its lease in 2014. Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, American Apparel, Gant, Levi’s, Duane Reade, Equinox, WeWork, CapitalOne, Citibank and Urban Outfitters have set up shop in the formerly mom-and-pop neighborhood.

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